Just like philosophy can help contextualize the scope of a scientific finding, so too can scientific methods shed light on philosophical positions developed on the basis of intuition. The latter is precisely the goal of the growing field known as experimental philosophy (or x-phi, for short), and as a philosophically-minded scientist, it’s been really fun working on some projects to this end.
Times Imagined and Remembered
With Felipe De Brigard and Samuel Murray, I co-authored the chapter “Times Imagined and Remembered” in Hoerl, McCormack, and Fernandes’s forthcoming volume, Temporal Asymmetries in Philosophy and Psychology. We suggest a framework for how agents retrieve temporal information from episodic simulations, and provide novel evidence demonstrating a forward telescoping effect for memories of the future. That is, we found that memory for for the time in which a episodic future thought is situated is worse for events simulated at more distant time from the present. Data & code available here.
Folk Psychology and Proximal Intentions
Forthcoming in Philosophical Psychology! With Thomas Nadelhoffer and Alfred Mele, I co-authored this paper examining how individuals who have not formally studied philosophy attribute intentionality to different kinds of actions. In support of the Single Phenomenon View of intentional action, we found a tight relationship between ascriptions of proximal intentions and intentional actions in non-moral scenarios. OSF preprint & supplementary materials available here, data and code available here.